Infographic: Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain Through 2014

Back in mid-May, the firm KPMG created an infographic based on its research, called “Global Manufacturing Outlook 2014.” As we go into Labor Day, it is a good time to take a look at what the firm thinks the remainder of 2014 has in store for global manufacturing and the supply chain that supports it.

In the page that presents the research, KPMG has five key takeaways, but it is the last one that I think will continue to be of importance to our community members:

    Create strategies to address the 'disruptive complexities' caused by the accelerating pace of change, advances in manufacturing process, material science, decision support tools and break-through innovation.

Draw your own conclusions about the rest of the year after looking over the infographic below.

Source: KPMG

Source: KPMG

14 comments on “Infographic: Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain Through 2014

  1. Himanshugupta
    August 29, 2014

    Most of the manufacturing today depend on supply chain but the professionals do not have enough data to plan ahead and optimize their inventory planning. This maybe due to inadequate IT tools or resources or lack on vision. 


    However, its good to see that manufacturing is planning to double its R&D spending so that innovation engine do not stop.

  2. Taimoor Zubar
    August 29, 2014

    “Most of the manufacturing today depend on supply chain but the professionals do not have enough data to plan ahead and optimize their inventory planning. This maybe due to inadequate IT tools or resources or lack on vision. “

    @Himanshugupta: I think it has more to do with the company's overall strategy. If the overall strategy includes a focus on IT and leveraging IT tools to improve the business, then the company would spend a lot on IT tools that can help the managers in making better decisions.

  3. Taimoor Zubar
    August 29, 2014

    I think when it comes to developing a global supply chain, there's a considerable difference in terms of what the representatives may be referring to. Some organizations who are merely present in 3 or 4 countries that are near to each other also call themselves global companies. For them it's far easier to have a global supply chain compared to companies that exist in virtually every country of the world.

  4. Nigel Southway
    August 30, 2014

    It has little to do with more IT and a lot to do with the length of the supply chain

    basic rule…long supply chains are bad.. short ones are good!

    If you want a list to support this rule I can provide..

  5. Himanshugupta
    August 30, 2014

    @Nigel, i agree that shorter supply chain is better as the probability of anything unplanned happening decreases. But in case one has to deal with long supply chain such as in typical manufacturing then different scenario planning can help in adverse conditions. Here historical data and IT tools can help.

  6. Nigel Southway
    August 30, 2014

    Yes.. but with long unsustainable supply chains you have to work these tools harder and increase risks

    I see significant redeployment in the works to return to basics of LEAN shorter supply chains and more hands on human communications.. complex communication and planning algorithms are a very poor substitute.. would you like some examples?

    Of course computers and such systems have a significant place but they need better management than our application success so far..

    This is not a rage against the machine 🙂 its a realization of how far we have drifted from the prime economic objective of providing need to the consumer/stakeholders at less cost/waste to both of them and also society without screwing up the planet.


  7. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 30, 2014


    You highlight and important issue regarding the fact that computers are not a panacea for solving the supply chain communication issues . It is true that the machine can not take the place of the human agent in creating a sustainable relationship between customers and suppliers.

  8. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 30, 2014


    Strategic supply chain forecasting for manufacturers based on historical data has existed for years and they are assumed to be able to predict what will occur in the future based on the demand that has occured in the past. However, no forecast is totally accurate and the planner's experience of the present and the future environment is still necessary to determine the future demand for a company's products.

  9. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 30, 2014


    basic rule…long supply chains are bad.. short ones are good!”

    Is this a universal rule inherent to the supply chain industry, or it varies depending on the manufacturers and the types of products they supply?

  10. Nigel Southway
    August 30, 2014

    True… the only profession that can have a shot at telling the future with accuracy are historians..

    What we as manufacturers need to start to understand is that all we are selling is “capacity” and the more we place that real time directly in front of the consumer the more waste free we can become… then if our capacity is ultra-flexible we gain another level of a waste free state. 

    Have a look at the article called Lean Thinking for Sustainable Supply Chains for what I am driving at…. We got to all start re-learning Lean thinking.

  11. Nigel Southway
    August 30, 2014

    basic rule…long supply chains are bad.. short ones are good!”

    Its a provocative statement being used by us LEAN and sustainable supply chain advocates and being embraced by many experts… its not an absolute but one to put high on the checklist to drive better options..

    Its a comparative statement… of course where resources dont exist in one part of the world to support an economy elsewhere then they have to be supplied from where they orginate .. sometimes whatever the supply distance…but where local options exist… the short chain will start to rule and the tipping point is moving more toward transportaion costs in all its compoenents rather than labor differential.. hence the amount of reshoring and source rebalancing going on in some supply chains. Also we will see local resouce applications being developed to replace those that do not exist in that location…


    One study stated that the only things China and NAQFTA need to trade is rare earths for fertilizer.. everything else can be found or substitued in the respective local trade region.

    go figure why we have a 40 footer each second docking on our tired shores

  12. Ariella
    August 31, 2014

    @Nigel perhaps we have to adapt the KISS acronym for supply chains: Keep it short and sustainable

  13. Nigel Southway
    August 31, 2014

    I like it!

  14. Ariella
    August 31, 2014

    @Nigel glad you do!

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